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Garden Grove man sentenced in songbird smuggling case

June 7, 2010 |  6:16 pm
Orange County songbird smuggler A Garden Grove man who tried to smuggle rare songbirds into the United States by attaching them to his calves was sentenced Monday to four months in federal prison.

Sony Dong, 46, pleaded guilty last year to one count of smuggling in connection with the April 13, 2009, incident, the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles said. Another Garden Grove resident, Duc Le, 34, pleaded guilty in April to one count of conspiracy in connection with the case.

Dong was apprehended by customs agents at Los Angeles International Airport after they noticed bird droppings on his socks and feathers sticking out from under his pants, prosecutors said.

He had 14 live birds attached with cloth to his calves. The birds included three red-whiskered bulbuls, which are listed as an injurious species under federal law, according to prosecutors.

Federal agents serving a subsequent search warrant at Dong's home found 51 songbirds in large cages, prosecutors said.

-- Robert Lopez